Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Russia’s Polina Mikhalova have emerged winners of the 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Nigeria Open which ended in Lagos on Sunday.
Quadri defeated Gardos Robert of Austra 4-2 (11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 5-11, 11-5) to retain the title he won in 2018.
It was an all-Russian affair in the women singles as Polina Mikhalova defeated compatriot Yana Noskova in a keenly-contested match 4-3 (11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 12-15, 9-11, 11-7).
Speaking on his victory, Quadri said he was overwhelmed with the support and cheers from the home crowd at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
He said he was delighted to defend his title, attributing his victory to God and rigorous training.
“I am grateful to God for another opportunity to defend this title which I won last year. This victory wouldn’t have been possible without the support from my fans and I truly cherish it.
“I will continue to give my best whenever I represent the country so as to encourage upcoming players,” Quadri said.
Mikhalova, who won the women’s title for the first time, said she was happy to play against her compatriot in the final.
The Russian said the victory was for her and her opponent for flying their country’s flag high in the upgraded ITTF event.
“I am happy winning this title for the first time. It is a victory for Yana and I, and I’m delighted we both played in the final,” she said.
In the men’s and women’s doubles, Nuytinck Cedric of Belgium, and Robinot Quentin of France had an easy run against the Nigerian duo of Segun Toriola and Olajide Omotayo.
They won 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 12-10).
Mikhalova and Noskova dislodged Ida Jazbec and Ivana Malobabic of Croatia 3-2 (8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 13-11, 7-3) for the women’s doubles title.
More than 100 players from 32 countries participated in the competition which got underway on Tuesday at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Sports Hall in Lagos.